Showing posts with label disney world. Show all posts
Showing posts with label disney world. Show all posts


Water Park Weenie

Years ago, when I was about 11 years old I almost died.  I have no idea who saved me, but I can still remember her voice.

I was in the wave pool at Noah's Ark in Wisconsin Dells with my good friend from school.  She was a strong swimmer, I was not.  Suddenly the waves came on full force, she knew enough to swim underwater, I didn't...I tried to fight the waves but they just kept rushing over my head and I was swallowing a ton of water and couldn't keep my head above.  I was screaming for help, but I'm sure my screams were drowned out amongst the shrieks and laughter of a very full pool in the middle of summer.

I somehow made my way over to the side of the pool where there was a bar you could hold onto and ride the waves, I did this, grabbing with all my might - seeing about a dozen other people holding the bar...I went under and came back up and NO ONE was there.  I was alone again, still going under, still screaming for help.  I tried to climb up the wall, but it was tile-there was no hope.  I tried to get my legs on top of the bar, so I could push myself out, but it wouldn't work.

I was scared.  And wondering why and how the life guard, that I could see just feet away, couldn't see me.

Then I felt hands around my waist and a voice asking if I needed help.  I gasped out a "yes!" and she told me to hold onto the wall, which I already was.  As the waves came and bounced off the back wall, with the momentum she would lift me up and move me slightly closer to the ladder.  After a few minutes we made it, my friend was behind me and literally had to push me up the ladder - my arms were incredibly sore.  I was dazed, she forced me to sit down in a lounge chair and gather myself.

After a few minutes I was okay, had my breath back and we moved onto the lazy river...for several hours!  Then I braved a few more slides and even went into the second wave pool--but only up to my ankles!  The rest of the day was fine, and fun!

Years went by and I never really went on water slides, they just weren't in my world.  I wasn't scared of the water at all, but did avoid wave pools-they did bring on some fear.

In my adult life I started to travel...and with that came water slides at various hotels.  Joe would go down them, but nope-I'm good, no thanks!  Sometimes I would brave it once, and scream all the way down.  Once was more than enough.

I have no idea if this fear stemmed back to my drowning incident, or what happened.  All I know is that I once was not afraid, but became very scared of water slides in my adult life.  Strap me into the biggest roller coaster and I'll do it - 

But a water slide?  Nope!

I had ZERO desire to go to the Disney water parks, Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach.  I thought "maybe we will go someday when Henry is older." but I was in no rush to get there.

Then I became a travel agent, with a niche of Disney vacations.  I went on a tour of Blizzard Beach.  It looked fun.  Hmmm...maybe I could enjoy a few things while the boys played.  Or just sit in the sun with a book.  Maybe...

Then I spoke to a Disney friend who's career is in water parks.  She spoke some logic into me.  Things I KNEW, but I just needed a professional to say them.  It's pretty much impossible to flip out of the slides...which is exactly what I feared would happen to me.  She sees incident reports from all ove the world, and has never, ever seen one where someone flipped out.  Okay.  It makes sense.  Science and all.

We went on our Disney Cruise last June and I braved my first water slide in a long time on Disney's private island, Castaway Cay.  I ENJOYED it.  Yes, I screamed, but I actually liked it!

Then in October we purchased Walt Disney World Annual Passes, which include visits to the water parks.  It was time to brave them.

I was nervous, don't get me wrong.  But I was determined to conquer my fear!  We opted to visit Typhoon Lagoon on this trip, since I hadn't seen it yet. 


We arrived in the late morning, and easily made our way through the park to find a place to plant our things and call "home" for the day.

Past the seats in the sun...

Ah, yes, a nice shady location with plenty of sand for Henry to dig in.  You see, he inherited my "water park weenie" gene.  I knew he wouldn't be braving any slides that day!

We settled in and promptly went off to find some sand toys for Henry.  We decided not to walk, but to use the lazy river ("Castaway Creek") as our highway to the gift shop we passed earlier.

Henry was a bit frightened, but eventually settled in.  We were able to easily get off at our stop, and then back on to continue the float back to our home spot.

This lazy river does have a few water sprays and a cave too!

Back at our sandy spot, we started to dig and create.  We had purchased a great castle shaped bucket and shovel for just $5.

After digging for quite a while I went off to the Shark Reef, which is a snorkeling lagoon right in the water park!  Now this I was excited about!  Just the month before I had been on a cruise with some girlfriends and went snorkeling for the first time in Grand Cayman.  I LOVED it.  I was eager to experience it all again.  The Shark Reef does not have an additional charge, all equipment is included!

And yes, swimming with sharks doesn't even phase me, but water slides do...shush. :)

You are given fairly detailed instructions.  There are sharks in the tank you swim through, so no kicking, and just keep moving across.

A shark!

The entire experience is quite short, but still very, very enjoyable!  Plus, if you've never been, it's a great way to try it for the first time.

After my Shark Reef experience we went off to find some lunch.  There are a few eateries within the park with a decent variety of basics.  We opted for


With our stomachs full, we started to walk back to our shady spot in the sand, but we passed the big daddy of all water slides...

Crush 'n' Gusher.

Now, for those of you who don't know, it's a water slide/roller coaster.  I have been on one of these before and literally screeeeeeeeched the entire way, but after it was said and done, enjoyed it.  With my newfound bravery, would I enjoy this one even more?  I had to try it.

Joe went first.  Henry and I hung out here.

Not a bad view.

On Joe's return he was all smiles, he really enjoyed it!  Now my turn.


I was brave, I marched right up into the line, got my inner tube and made my way up to the single riders slide.  The wait was about 15 minutes...and in that time I would watch each guest wait and then start their journey.  Watching them was the worst.  I was nervous!  Holy crappers.  I got to the front and the Cast Member asked if I was ready...I was honest "No, I'm not! But I have to be!" they just laughed.

I felt like I was in a daze as I climbed into the slide wondering why the heck I had to do this...because I had to.  I had to get over this fear!

I let out a scream as I jetted off, and I continued to scream the eeeeeentire way down...but I did it!  And I came out laughing!  It was FUN!  I wanted to try again, but the line had grown considerably and now that I had my water slide mojo on, I had to get to some other slides!

I wanted to do a ton more, but my scared little Henry wasn't too keen on staying in the park too much longer, so we went back to the shady spot to dig and relax - and then I snuck off again...this time to the Storm Slides.  There are three slides to choose from, I felt the nerves again, but was more excited than scared.

I LOVED this one!  I wanted to go try all three slides, but knew it was almost time to go.

I will say, these slides aren't rated very high on the thrill list for most folks - they are perfect for a water slide weenie though!

Back in the sand we packed up our bags and I was gushing about how much fun I had that day.

I, Brook Wozniak, had fun at a water park.


In March we return to Walt Disney World and I look forward to trying Blizzard Beach this time!  We'll see if I'm brave enough to stick a toe in the wave pool this time.

A few more pictures as I wrap this up...

Info sign

Wait times board

Themeing (of course it has themeing, it's Disney!)


Mini-donut in chocolate sauce, even better!

Overall, if you are a water slide weenie, don't worry!  You'll still enjoy Disney's water parks.  There are several tame slides (but there are some crazy thrilling ones too), pools to enjoy and lovely soft sand!


Walking Tour of Pop Century Resort

Today I finally finished a video I have been working on for a very.long.time!  Take a walk through Disney's Pop of Disney's most popular Value Resorts at Walt Disney World!


Shopping is an attraction...right?

Continuing our February/March Walt Disney World trip...I know the updates on this is a bit disjointed and random, but you can find all the updates on this trip so far HERE

We left off wrapping up our first full day with Henry flirting with the It's a Small World Cast Member and scoring us a back-to-back ride on the Happiest Cruise that Ever Sailed.

We all slept hard that night, it had been a long, full day!

Monday, February 28, 2011

We didn't set an alarm. As usual for this family. We all didn't even wake up until 8:00 am! It was bliss!

We took it slow that morning, watching some Playhouse Disney

Playing on the computer while enjoying a wonderful, wonderful breakfast

Playing with the monorail

And really, just enjoying our morning in the room.

We eventually left the room right around 10:00 am

We headed down to the Boardwalk and toward the International Gateway (the "backdoor" entrance to Epcot).

And within minutes we were here

Sigh. So pretty.

The World Showcase was still not open, but they do have the Kim Possible stations open, so we grabbed a FastPass for that.

This was something I had been meaning to do for several trips, I was determined this time!

We slowly made our way to Future World

A few of the Flower & Garden Festival displays, even though it wasn't quite officially started yet!

Suddenly some two-wheeled guests were flying past us

Henry was VERY excited to see the Segways. Joe and I took this tour during our Disneymoon and had a pin with a Segway on it from the tour. Just before we had left on our trip Henry had asked about them, and he instantly recognized them here in the World Showcase!

I cannot explain how excited I was to see those flower beds. They are BREATHTAKING! And they smell soooooo good.

Okay, who wants to be in Epcot RIGHT NOW?!?! These pictures are making me 'homesick'!

We decided to go get Test Track FastPasses, but they had some sidewalks blocked off in preparation of Pixie Hollow area for the Flower & Garden Festival, so we cut through Mouse Gear instead-which was a-OK with me, I wanted to shop here anyway!

Of course, when you walk into a gift shop with a child, it isn't always easy to just peel them outta there. Joe and Henry shopped for a bit, while I ran for FastPasses

Back to shoppin'

1 of each please. LOVE the 40th Anniversary stuff!

Henry reallyyyyy wanted a couple cars. We said "Only one.", but then he reminded us he had his own money! And he did! We give him a few coins each time he does things that we are working on-such as cleaning up after himself, obeying RIGHT away, putting his dishes in the sink, etc. plus, birthday money. Soooo....

The one we bought him

The one he bought

Could he be any happier?!?!


$25 Disney Gift Card Giveaway!

The Travel Agency that I work for, Mouse World Travel, is having a giveaway!  For every 100 people who "Like" them on Facebook, a $25 Disney gift card will be given away at random to the followers!!  That gift card can be used at any Disney store (or online), in the Disney parks, or on Disney Cruise Line.

Please take a moment to "Like" Mouse World Travel - and share this with anyone who might be interested, or wants a chance to win!

Mouse World Travel on Facebook


A Photographic Walking Tour of Disney's All Star Movies Resort

I just finished working on a video - I took pictures all over All Star Movies Resort in May and I put them all together with some fancy-schmancy transitions and fun Disney music!  So, if you are interested in the resort, you can "take a stroll" with my video!


Uh...where's the stroller?

We left off back in Stormalong Bay, the amazing pool at the Yacht & Beach Club Resort.

After we pulled Henry out of the sand, we made our way back over to the Boardwalk, cleaned up and got ready for our evening--we were headed back to the Magic Kingdom!

Close to 7 pm we were at the bus stop and juuuuuust missed a Magic Kingdom bus. Sigh. It's always a bit of a bummer when that happens. However, we weren't too upset about this one leaving because it was standing-room-only and we weren't in a rush. Just minutes later another Magic Kingdom bus arrived..and there were only a few of us that needed to board.  Woot!

By the time we got to the Swan (another hotel, that the bus stops on), we were stuck behind the really full Magic Kingdom bus and it was taking longer than average for some reason. But, as we sat there, we had a rockin' bus driver-he sang for us to pass the time! Love those drivers who love their jobs!

Within 30 minutes we were at Magic Kingdom

and we were on the hunt for some food! We thought we'd check out the new Tortuga Tavern; however, it was closed when we arrived and we never did end up trying it.

Joe wanted to try one of the Quick Service restaurants we haven't eaten at much, and pizza was calling to him-so we were off to Pinocchio's Village Haus as our second option.

When we arrived we parked the stroller right outside the doors, near a bunch of other strollers, <--foreshadowing ;-)

and we made our way in.

Somewhere between the stroller and the counter where you order food Henry decided to melt down and act out. Getting the answer of "What do you want to eat?" from him was a he was completely distracted with a Cast Member, who had great-intentions entertaining him with a Pinocchio puppet. It just made getting him to respond to me even harder. The whole moment frustrated me. But eventually, we made it through. Henry and I went to find a table near the windows that over look the It's a Small World waterway...such a neat feature of this restaurant!

Joe returns with our food.

No straws. No silverware. No napkins.

My frustration of the evening escalated.

He could tell I was not feelin' the magic and volunteered to run out to the stroller to grab the hand sanitizer.

Okay, sounds good. I'll snap some food pics!

Mine-cheese pizza and salad

Joe's pepperoni pizza - he also had a side of fries with his. You can pick either salad or fries when on the Disney Dining Plan.

Henry's Mac & Cheese, Applesauce and Cookie

Joe and I both had Strawberry Cheesecake for dessert

Well...Joe comes in...empty handed. And he declares he cannot find the stroller.

Say what?  Erg.

Okay. The man is legally blind. He sees pretty well in the dark, it's the bright light that gives him problems, but he might have missed it.

Was I gracious in this moment?

No. I was annoyed. I got up and walked out, just KNOWING that the stroller would be right where we left it.

Until I got outside...and it wasn't.

It was gone.

I grabbed a Cast Memeber who started to look around with me. We looked EVERYWHERE in Fantasyland. Back and forth, through the crowds of people watching the Wishes fireworks show exploding in the sky over us. I was totally panicked. This was our first full day-what would we do without a stroller?!? I had memories of the time we ended up swapping strollers (accidentally) after Fantasmic with a couple-and that worked out and became a funny story to tell, this would too...right?!?! But what if it didn't!?! Okay, breathe, Brook...we could rent a stroller. It wouldn't be the end of the world. It would be a hit to the budget, but ya gotta do what ya gotta do.

Meanwhile, Mr. Nice Cast Member enlisted the help of another Cast Member and was calling on the radio because we just could not find it. We were looking for a good 15 minutes!

And then the fireworks end.

And the crowd thins.

And there is my little brown Maclaren, sitting the middle of the walkway.


But all well! Who cares where it was! We found it! I almost hugged that Cast Member!

I finally made my way back to Pinocchio's with the hand sanitizer and a humble grin on my face. There was good reason why my dear husband could not find the stroller!

The boys had thrown caution to the wind and chose to eat with germ-ridden hands (daredevils! LOL), and I settled into enjoy the meh food. It wasn't bad, but it was just alright. It have been better hot!  Though, Henry didn't like his mac & cheese AT ALL (if you go back and look at the pic, it does look awful!) and we all ended up sharing our food. Which was fine, it worked out. And I do remember the cheesecake being quite tasty.

After we relaxed a bit and laughed off the stroller ordeal, we made our way out and back into Fantasyland. I spotted Mr. Nice Cast Member and walked right up to him and got his name, Stephen, who works custodial in Fantasyland. That man rules. He went way above and beyond duty to help me. I told him so...and he gave me Fastpasses on top of all that!!

I have since sent off an email raving about his service.  It's Cast Members like these that make Disney known for it's customer service.

So Fastpasses in hand, no true agenda on deck, standing with this as our beautiful view

we asked Henry what he would like to do...his instant response?

"The flying blankies!"

Which made both Joe and I laugh out loud - we knew what ride he was talking about...the Magic Carpets of Aladdin.

So off to Adventureland we went.